The Portuguese built Elmina Castle in 1482 as a trading post, which later became one of the most important stops on the route of the Atlantic slave trade. It was formerly known as Sao Jorge de Mina (St. George of the mine). It is the oldest European building in existence below the Sahara.
The Dutch seized control of the fort in 1637 and took over the whole Portuguese gold coast in 1642.
Elmina castle is located in modern day Ghana. Ghana gained her independence in 1957. The people who lived along the Elmina coast in 1482 were of the Fante tribe.
Up to 1000 male and 500 female slaves were chained and crammed in poorly ventilated dungeons in the Castle before they were put on ships sailing to Brazil and other Portuguese colonies. The men were kept separate from the women and their white captors often raped the women.
The castle was renovated in the 1990s by the Ghanaian government and is regarded today as a World Heritage Monument under UNESCO.